Thursday, March 23, 2017

Moving Guide for Single Parents

Moving is often a complicated process for anyone, but when you’re raising children on your own, it can really get tough. Tez adds some expert advice for this article by Goodcall. 

Moving Guide for Single Parents


Moving is often a complicated process for anyone, but when you’re raising children on your own, it can really get tough.

You’ll have one less set of hands for packing and lifting, and also be stuck making decisions on your own – like whether to hire movers or just rent a truck yourself. This guide can help make some of those decisions easier and help you tackle some of the unique issues that arise when moving with children.
You will also find printable checklists to keep you organized along the way. Use one or all of them to aid in planning, packing, picking a mover, loading the truck, and covering all your bases after the move. And check out the money-saving tips section for ways to make your move in a single-income household.
Some popular parenting bloggers have also joined us to provide some tips to make your life just a little easier during this hectic time. 

Planning Your Move

From sorting your belongings and selling what you no longer need to turning off the phone and internet before you leave, there’s a long list of things you’ll need to take care of.Once you know you’re definitely moving, it’s time to get organized. Moving preparation starts long before you start packing boxes.
Sometimes a new job can demand a quick turnaround, ideally you want a couple of months to plan (Read more)

GoodCall® created  checklists that should help you get your move in order. 
You can learn more about surviving as a single father in Tez's book the Single Dad Detour

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Happy National Single Parent Day!

To celebrate, I'm giving away a free signed copy of "The Single Dad Detour" 
to the first 3 readers who respond to the question below:

Share about your most memorable Mother's Day or Father's Day.

(must have a U.S. shipping address and must click "Follow" on my home page).

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, 

do hereby proclaim March 21, 1984, as National Single Parent Day. 
I call on the people of the United States to recognize the contributions single 
parents are making, sometimes under great hardships, to the lives of their children, 
and I ask that they volunteer their help, privately or through community organizations, 
to single parents who seek it to meet their aspirations for their children.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of March, 

in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence 
of the United States of America the two hundred and eighth.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Learning to Relax and Get Lazy on the Weekends

Raising kids is hard work and the weekends don’t care if you need a rest. The grass still needs to be mowed, the laundry still needs to be washed, and the kids still need to eat.

One single dad advises dads to grab a cup a coffee first thing on Saturdays, sit on the porch and watch the kids play. It has a way of re-organizing your day so you're not focused on chores.

Often allowing yourself just be lazy is exactly what you need. Too many times guilt drives us to start projects instead of lying in a hammock with your kids on top of you.

No time to relax? That’s okay. I exercise regularly and alone. I love losing myself in my playlists and talking to God. I recently realized the bonding that happened when I invited one of my daughters to accompany me on my 2-mile route.

At first I was hesitant. I didn’t want anyone to break my groove. This was my “me” time. But I noticed topics came up that wouldn’t normally be discussed around her sister or even her mom. I’m now learning to love those early morning workouts.

Still having a hard time letting chores go? Sometimes with a little creativity, you can get errands done while still spending quality time with the kiddos. Try a few of these ideas:

·      Help your daughter clean up her room using show and tell. Rather than handing her a trash bag and telling her to clean up—sit on her floor and ask her to tell you the stories behind each drawing or piece of string she’s trashing. Sure it will take longer but all she’ll remember is you entered her world and it was wondrous.

·      You could rake the leaves yourself or you could include the kids and a camera. Then let them play in the piles before bagging them up. Less will get done and you’ll have to rake them again, but you’ll have some great photos.

·      Gotta work on the minivan? Let your son hand you the tools you need while you’re under the car. He’ll learn what a wrench is and you’ll have a helper. Let him get a little greasy too. It’s only dirt.

Don’t get me wrong, whether it’s groceries or gutters, including the kids can go two ways—really bad or really good. Often it’s our attitude that dictates how the outing will go. I have to loosen up if I’m ever going to include my kids in my chores and errands. Too often I'm more worried about keeping up appearances and what the neighbors think, instead of being a good dad. But it’s either bring them with me on errands or stay on the back porch with my coffee and get nothing done. Which was my point to begin with, I think.

That back porch is usually the best option. Grouting and grass-cutting can wait. Keep those pajamas on, grab another cup of coffee and in the words of a famous princess “Let it go.”

How about you? What ideas have worked to keep chores from pulling you away from the kids? Share your ideas with us you lazy crud!  

Written by Tez Brooks, author of The Single Dad Detour (Kregel)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Dads and Makeup: Feeling Unsure How to Approach This Issue

No this post isn't about fathers wearing eyeliner. Although that probably would make for a pretty cool dad.

It's about my daughter. She's 13 and makeup is now interesting to her. At first, I had no idea what to do about this.

Physical appearance seems to be very important to young girls and it doesn't stop for women. Wherever we go, the media screams the lie, "Beauty makes you valuable." 

The truth is, we are more of a soul than we are a mere body to decorate. I want my daughters to understand that their bodies are only a temporary shell, not the measure of their significance. 

I have the privilege to be in a unique position to influence my girls--to present a different perspective on makeup and clothes. But if I do it all wrong, that opportunity slips away. 

A wise person once said, "Women should dress modestly, with decency and propriety...appropriate for women who profess to worship God" (I Timothy 2).

We've talked about it and decided to ease her into it by allowing another type of makeup added every 6 months. So she started with lip gloss on her 13th birthday. After 6 months rolls by, she gets to add light blush.

When her 14th birthday pops up, she can add mascara or foundation...I'll let her and her mom decide at that point what is needed most. 

At any rate, I figure by the time she gets to red lipstick or dark eye shadow she will be mature enough to have it enhance her beauty in a classy way with modesty, rather than making her look immodest. Because let's face it, too much makeup too soon sometimes sends the wrong message to boys.

But I must approach that reality with my girls carefully and tactfully. While I want them to understand the issue of boys and lust, I don't want her to feel all the weight of some boy's problem. It's his issue--his sin. Yet I still desire for her to care enough to be watchful of how she applies makeup or wears in public. There's a balance there.

But maybe I need to re-think this plan. Wisdom comes from many counselors and it often takes a village to raise a child. I'm open to some advice from you moms and dads out there. How did you handle the whole makeup ordeal? What worked? What didn't?

Written by Tez Brooks, author of The Single Dad Detour (Kregel).